Two new jobs.
It all starts back up this week!
In light of the above, I have been doing a lot of planning and prepping, trying to figure out how it's all going to fit together. Last fall was strange. I wasn't working. I didn't have choirs to play for. My husband was in one state, I in another as we waited for our house to sell. So the mindset of "not enough time" that has been such a defining part of my existence for the last 15 years had a chance to recede. It has been a blessedly relaxing year, but I think I am ready to have more to do. Not as much as I used to, ;-) but more. As the schedule slowly fills up I find myself feeling more motivated than I have felt in a long time. That is probably also a function of fewer bad things happening. But busy-ness is good. It makes one feel useful. God knew what He was doing when He put Adam in the Garden to "work it and keep it." Even in his pre-fallen state, Adam needed things to do. He had a sense of vocation. Of course, during the time that I wasn't working a paying job, with two children and a husband at home, I still had vocational purpose. But now there is only one child at home, and he is becoming more self-sufficient, and as he becomes even moreso I am going to have more time to serve my neighbor. I am thankful this fall that God has seen fit to give me a few more ways to do that that will also put a few more dollars in the bank. :-)
So. How can I return to a fuller schedule without its overwhelming and getting the best of me? I think I need to reclaim a few old practices that I have drifted away from in the last five or so years. The first of those is waking up early. I used to be a dyed-in-the-wool morning person. When my children were small, I made a point of waking up hours before they did just so I could enjoy those precious, quiet morning moments. I have gotten away from that, in part because I haven't needed to wake up so early but also because of plain old apathy and lack of motivation. Instead of waking up between 5 and 6 a.m., I more often wake up between 7 and 8. That is late for me. Time to start setting the alarm clock again!
Second, I need to set limits to my online time. It is so easy to wake up, pour the coffee, go into computer land, and not come out until hours later. The result is that mornings, which have always been my most productive time of day, get frittered away. To avoid that happening, I need to set start and stop times for my online activity. And once those times are set, I need to abide by them.
Third, not only do I need to assign times for waking up and going to bed and using the computer, but I need to do so for other things as well. That becomes more needful and, ironically, easier when your time is no longer your own. As I look at my weekly schedule taking shape, with choir rehearsals, Evan's activities, and paid work claiming large chunks, it is going to be important to schedule the other things I want to do. Blogging, exercise, piano practicing, reading, housecleaning, cooking, shopping, laundry . . . . They aren't going to happen organically. They need designated times, too.
If you have any tricks or suggestions that you have found helpful for staying on top of the to-do list, I would love to hear them!